Germany’s Flawed Social Media Laws

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The new German law that compels social media companies to remove hate speech and other illegal content can lead to unaccountable, overboard censorship and should be promptly reversed, Human Rights Watch said. The law sets a dangerous precedent for other governments looking to restrict speech online by forcing companies to censor on the government’s behalf. Governments and the public have valid concerns about the proliferation of illegal or abusive content online, but the new Ger“man law is fundamentally flawed,” said Wenzel Michalski, Germany director at Human Rights Watch. “It is…

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Amazon Echo Dot ad cleared over cat food order

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A television ad for Amazon’s Echo Dot smart speaker that caused a viewer’s device to try to order cat food has been cleared by a UK regulator. The advert, which aired in October, featured a man asking Amazon’s voice assistant Alexa to order Purina cat food. A viewer said the ad caused their Echo Dot device to respond after hearing the ad on the television. The viewer complained that the ad was “socially irresponsible”. The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) announced that it would not uphold the consumer’s complaint because it…

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Winter Olympics hit by cyber-attack

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The official Winter Olympics website was taken offline after being hit by a cyber-attack, officials have confirmed. The site was affected just before the beginning of the opening ceremony in Pyeongchang, South Korea. TV and internet systems at the Games were also disrupted, though operations were restored about 12 hours later. However, a spokesman said that the International Olympic Committee would not be commenting on who might have been behind the incident. “Maintaining secure operations is our purpose,” said Mark Adams. He added that the issue was being dealt with…

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Snapchat redesign faces backlash

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The redesign of the app was to make it easier to use but as the update rolls out to more users, Snapchat is getting criticism that the new interface is difficult to navigate. “I might start using Instagram Stories now,”  said Ashley Vasquez, a 21-year-old Snapchat user who is a senior at the University of Maryland in College Park. A Change.org petition asking the company to remove the new update has amassed more than 590,000 signatures by Monday afternoon. Other users began sharing a workaround for reversing the update by…

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Facebook Gaining Popularity among Old People as the Young Leave

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A report shows that Facebook is for old people as teens and young adults are ditching the social network while the over 55s are joining. In 2018, 2.2 million 12- to 17-year-olds and 4.5 million 18- to 24-year-olds will regularly use Facebook in the UK, 700,000 fewer than in 2017, as younger users defect to services such as Snapchat, according to eMarketer. A surge in older users means over-55s will become the second-biggest demographic of Facebook users this year. The report says that while Facebook has so far been successful…

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BitPesa, Kenyan Bitcoin Payments Startup, Acquires European Money Transfer Platform

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BitPesa, Kenyan bitcoin payments startup, has acquired TransferZero, Spain-based online money transfer platform, in a bid to further accelerate its growth across the world. BitPesa, which raised two funding rounds last year to take its total secured investment to around the US$10 million mark, launched in Kenya in 2013 and also operates in Nigeria, Tanzania, Uganda, the DRC, the UK and Senegal. TransferZero was founded in 2016 and was the first fintech company licensed by the Bank of Spain as an authorized payment institution. The company is a partner of…

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Instagram testing feature that enables users to regram posts to stories

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Instagram has confirmed it is testing an option that lets you “regram” public feed posts from other users to your Story. For those who have access to the new feature, it will appear as “Add post to your story” when you tap the share icon underneath a post. If you don’t want your public posts to be shared in this way, there is the option to change your privacy settings. Even if your account doesn’t have the ability to currently reshare, you should still see the option now for “Allow…

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FNB is Africa’s Leading Bank

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First National Bank (FNB) announced yesterday that it was named Africa’s leading bank in The Banker’s, Top 500 Banking Brands Report 2018. Ranked 141st in the global banking table, with a brand valuation of $1.4bn, FNB grew its brand value by 23% in the past year. “Banking has evolved from being more than just banking to a lifestyle offering, that touches on the personal and emotional level of our customers. The success lies in FNBs ability to operate in challenging market conditions with changing consumer perceptions and dynamics. We fundamentally…

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Firms warned on technology distractions

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Technology can distract workers rather than make them more productive, suggests a survey carried out by software giant Microsoft. Many of the 20,000 European workers questioned said a steady stream of emails, messages and notifications kept them from concentrating. Others said the way their employer deployed technology also stopped them being more productive. One expert said many staff suffered high levels of technostress. The report, which sampled views in 21 European nations including the UK, found that only 11.4% of European workers said they felt highly productive. “Modern workers have…

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Research Reveals that Cellphone Radiation Poses no Real Harm to Humans

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Male rats showed a small increase in a kind of heart tumor after exposure to massive amounts of cellphone radiation, a new government study reports. But don’t read too much into that, experts say — because those rats bathed in more radiation than even the heaviest cellphone users would experience. There are ongoing worries about whether cellphones can give you cancer — especially brain cancer, since our phones spend so much time near our faces. It’s true that cell phones do emit radiation but it’s radiofrequency radiation, which is much…

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